Monday, April 6, 2009

One nation under God.

I read an interesting article from Newsweek today. It is actually this week’s cover story stating “The End of Christian America.” The irony, which is not ironic at all, but carefully planned during many meetings by Newsweek editors (trust me, I used to work for a newspaper), is not lost on me that this cover is out the same week as Easter, no doubt to make atheist happy during this “holiday season” and terrify Christians as they run to their churches to pray for the “un-Godly.” Anyway, here is a small excerpt (you can read the whole article here):
“There it was, an old term with new urgency: post-Christian. This is not to say that the Christian God is dead, but that he is less of a force in American politics and culture than at any other time in recent memory. To the surprise of liberals who fear the advent of an evangelical theocracy and to the dismay of religious conservatives who long to see their faith more fully expressed in public life, Christians are now making up a declining percentage of the American population… While we remain a nation decisively shaped by religious faith, our politics and our culture are, in the main, less influenced by movements and arguments of an explicitly Christian character than they were even five years ago… Let's be clear: while the percentage of Christians may be shrinking, rumors of the death of Christianity are greatly exaggerated. Being less Christian does not necessarily mean that America is post-Christian…”
I found this article so interesting and timely. I do not believe that Christianity is dead, not will it ever be, for two reasons: 1) we have a living God and 2) people will always believe in a higher power (whoever or whatever that is to them), so religion and spirituality are inherently human.
This article also reminded me of my church and my pastors, because they always comment on being sure people avoid certain religious radio programs and magazines that are sure to jump all over this Newsweek article, because they will blow things out of proportion and send fear and doubt into the heart of the believer, because they operate on chaos, just as the secular media does too.
At the end of the day all that matters is our walk with the Lord and how we show him to others. There is a reason community is so key to the Kingdom of God, rather than the “Government of God,” and that is because God is relational, not political, so no matter what our conservative or liberal climate is, people will still need and rely on each other and the gospel will still be told person by person through small, everyday interactions on that “main street” government is so often using these days. Ultimately, Christianity in government doesn’t have any real influence, because on “Main Street” it will always exist. That is the point of community and “love thy neighbor” and “where two or three are gathered, there I will be also.” One of my favorite quotes in the Newsweek article was, “The Sermon on the Mount is about what we are to do—but it does not come with a political handbook.” That is my point.
More proof that Christianity is long from dead, is watching the Academy of Country Music awards (strange and unlikely transition, I know). The country community is very grounded in Jesus and Christianity and church. Listen to the lyrics and watch the award shows. They are conservative, patriotic, and God-fearing. When Carrie Underwood won her two awards she thanked God numerous times, including saying “let all the power and the glory and the honor be to God” (or something close). Plus, the community of country music is grounded in “love thy neighbor.” They look out for one another and they are very loyal. You can tell that by watching the award show as well. My favorite moment was after Carrie Underwood won Entertainer of the Year; Kenny Chesney (who has won for the last four years) turned around and told her mom and sister congratulations. Beautiful community. This is why I love country music, and this is why Christianity is no where near dead, even in a possibly “post-Christian” society (which, by the way, Christians termed years ago).
Okay, that is my rant for the day. Now I’m off to celebrate my beautiful roommate, Ilise’s, birthday!


Anonymous said...

You are a talented writer! Consider a career in writing!

Anonymous said...

I wrote the last post.
I didn't expect it to be anonymous. Love, Aunt Karen